Advice post-accident (US)

Looking to hear some thoughts from people about a bike accident. Just to get this out of the way, my bike was cleared by my LBS as ok, and I’m fine minus some lingering chest pains.

Was riding down a hill, when a van pulled out from a stop sign at the bottom of the hill. Brakes took off most of the speed, but I still smacked into the side of the van. Fell to the ground with the bike, which now has some scuffs where it hit(thru-axel, handlebar, saddle, pedal). Everything is in working order, it’s just scuffs. Any point where it touched is small scrapes, maybe the size of a nickel/dime.

My question is this: Would you seek to have anything replaced, such a skewers or carbon bars or saddle when it’s just cosmetic markings? I don’t think it’s important since they still work, but I’ve also never been in this situation. I’m not sure to what extent you should request stuff from their insurance if they’re at fault.

Also, I also lost my Garmin 530 and varia light after picking up the bike from the PD a couple hours later and heading to my LBS. Some viewed it as I was in shock at the time when I took them off the bike and left them somewhere. I don’t think to request those though as it seems like my fault. Someone might have thoughts on this one too.

First of all, glad to hear you are mostly okay. I had a similar incident with a van pulling out in front of me a couple weeks ago, and went over my handlebars to avoid a crash, and it was some scary shit.

If you are making a claim against the other person’s insurance, you can only make claims for actual damages incurred. For instances, if you are rear-ended in a car, and the rear of your bumper is scraped, you will be entitled to having your bumper fixed. Of course, in that scenario it could just require a coat of paint, as opposed to having the entire bumper replaced.

In the context of your bike, I would seek to have everything looking like new, whether that means replacing parts, paint, etc… Just a tip, in order to file a claim, you will likely need an itemized list from your local bike shop saying what needs replacing if anything, and the cost of labor for each item. Of course I’m not sure what state you live it, but this all presumes that the person actually has property damage coverage.

As for the Garmin and Varia, if they were lost from the accident, as opposed to you misplacing them, I would claim them. If YOU lost them, then I would not claim them. This of course is only a question that you can answer.


I would take the bike to the LBS and have them do a complete check and itemize everything wrong with it (scratches etc). Ask them for a bill to replace everything, including labor. There might be some internal damage that they can see that you can’t. Then give this to the insurance.

I was t-boned last year (at low speed, thank god) in an intersection. The main damage was a big chip in the paint on the fork. LBS said it looked fine, and I rode it a few times with no obvious ill effect, but without imaging you’ll never know for sure. Out of safety concerns, I definitely wanted the fork replaced. The LBS wrote a damage description/estimate with proposed “repainting”.

I priced out the crash-replacement cost of the fork (direct via canyon) and it was somewhat cheaper, so I ordered the fork asap (had to submit picture of the fork destroyed… via hacksaw, very sad). I had the LBS take care of the install work, which involved rebleeding the front brake and cutting the stem, etc. Keep your receipts!

If you can afford to make the repairs right away, you should do so. The process of filing a claim kind of sucked, but wasn’t very hard. Just be mindful when you’re conversing with their agents you want to make sure to stick to facts and not ramble on or give them reason to deny your claim. Have the police report handy. In my case, it was a local reseller agency. The local agency gave the offender the chance to pay the claim directly, which they declined. From there, the local agency referred me to a re-insurer to file the actual claim. There was an initial phone interview to create the case. The case was then referred to an adjuster. The adjuster was actually a biker himself (and seemingly a good bit faster than I!), and didn’t give me any trouble and understood the safety implications of a carbon bike represents. I submitted the receipts electronically and was sent a check within a few weeks.

I did call my car insurance co. to find out if this was something they should handle. They said they could if I was getting the run-around. This may vary based on your policy and insurer. Fortunately it was pretty straightforward and aside from time lost (on the phone, lbs, and from training since my outdoor bike was out of commission for >1 week) the experience was fine.

EDIT: and if you have any medical expenses, definitely get those paid for.